Civil Society & Social Innovation

How can individuals and communities make their voices heard, what are the barriers to community empowerment and how can social innovation and wider participation be enhanced?
 

Understanding everyday participation – articulating cultural values

Principal Investigator: Dr Andrew Miles (University of Manchester)
2011

This project proposes a radical re-evaluation of the relationship between participation and cultural value. We are used to thinking about the benefits of the arts as a traditional way of understanding culture and its value but what about the meanings and stakes people attach to their hobbies and pastimes? Read more

Connection, participation and empowerment in community-based research: the case of the transition movement.

Principal Investigator: Professor Rachel Pain (Durham University); Centre for Social Justice and Community Action
From 2012 to 2013

The project addressed issues identified by Transition Network through its experience of fielding interest from researchers. It documented experiences of Transition groups and researchers involved in research collaborations, created draft guidelines for Transition research, and initiated a broader project on supporting Transition groups to devise appropriate methods for monitoring and evaluation. Read more

Cultural Activism in the Community

Principal Investigator: Michael Buser
2012

This scoping study explored literature and debates on cultural activism and communities of place. Cultural activism is defined as a set of creative practices and activities which challenge dominant interpretations and constructions of the world, while presenting alternative socio-political and spatial imaginaries in ways which challenge relationships between art, politics, participation and spectatorship. Read more

Creative participation

Principal Investigator: Antonia Layard (University of Birmingham)
From 2011 to 2012

Creative Participation was a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Connected Communities programme in 2011-12. The project explored how three ‘pioneer communities’ in Newcastle, Cumbria and Bristol use creativity to involve themselves in place-making and planning practices after initial struggles to have a voice in the process. Read more

The role of creative interventions in fostering connectivity and resilience in older people

Principal Investigator: Anna Goulding, Newcastle University
2014

We are aiming to understand how creative interventions can help develop connectivity and resilience for older people. We will critically reflect on a range of projects including community gardening, filmmaking, the built environment, product design, digital media, theatre, music, cultural learning and visual arts interventions. Read more

Our Data Ourselves

Principal Investigator: Tobias Blanke
From 2013 to 2015

Our AHRC funded research project: ‘Our Data Ourselves’, will increase our understanding of the nature and role of the data that young people produce when they use social platforms and applications on their smartphones. We have paired with members of Young Rewired State. Read more

Co-Designing Asset Mapping: Comparative Approaches

Principal Investigator: Dr Giota Alevizou
From 2014 to 2015

Co-Designing Asset Mapping: Comparative Approaches is a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, February 2014 – April 2015. The project has aimed to explore how academics, the public sector, civil society and grass roots movements can work to address needs and cultivate capacities in communities of place and interest. Read more

Evaluating the Legacy of Animative and Iterative Connected Communities Projects: A Three Dimensional Model of Change

Principal Investigator: Professor Mihaela Kelemen
From 2014 to 2015

This project explores ways of evaluating and enhancing the legacy of the Connected Communities (hereafter CC) programme by investigating and reflecting on the impacts that four projects funded within this programme have had in both in the communities with whom they were conducted and can have in new community settings, both in the UK and beyond. Read more

Bridging the Gap between Academic Theory and Community Relevance: Fresh Insights from American Pragmatism

Principal Investigator: Professor Mihaela Kelemen, Keele University
From 2013 to 2014

‘Bridging the Gap’ focuses on what is considered ‘actionable’ knowledge by communities and what makes knowledge relevant, useful and/or practical at their end. The four AHRC projects involved in this collaborative grant application share the view that academic theories are not ends in themselves; rather that they must serve the needs of the communities studied. Read more

Community as micro-sociality and the new localism agenda

Principal Investigator: Professor Valerie Walkerdine
From 2012 to 2013

The Big Society and localism agendas bring to the fore issues of how communities might operate within a time of austerity. This project addresses current concerns by using a theoretical approach to community which understands it as relational activity, the act of communing, which is the small everyday activity which makes up what counts as community. Read more